IIM Ahmedabad Hosts Treebo Founder Rahul Chaudhary

IIM Ahmedabad hosted Rahul Chaudhary, Founder of Treebo, India's third largest hotel chain as part of the How to Start a Startup 2.0 series.

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IIM Ahmedabad Hosts Treebo Founder Rahul Chaudhary

Rahul Chaudhary addressing students at IIM Ahmedabad

New Delhi:  IIM Ahmedabad hosted Rahul Chaudhary, Founder of Treebo -- India's third largest hotel chain -- as part of the How to Start a Startup 2.0 series. The eighth installment of the series was on exotic treat for budding entrepreneurs, based on the theme of 'franchisee based entrepreneurship.' 

An IIM Ahmedabad alumnus, Mr Chaudhary started his career working at Mckinsey & Company, and Myntra before starting Treebo along with Sidharth Gupta and Kadam Jeet Jain. As he reminisced about the fledgling start-up culture when he graduated, Mr. Chaudhary mentioned that startups were not popular among students, with the first start-up fair attracting merely 15 startups and 13 students showing up.

Mr Chaudhary talked about the various challenges they faced while starting up, and most importantly, taking the decision to enter the budget hospitality industry - while choosing the business, the founders decided to ask themselves which field will not change in the next 20 years. 

According to him, they found that in the context of travel, people exhibited a simple consumer behavior, demanding clean hotel rooms and an anxiety-free experience. 

The second problem his team faced was selling this idea of a middle-class consumer. 

Mr Chaudhary also talked of the importance of having the right team. 

Why travel sector

He then went on to talk about why he picked travel as a sector for his start-up, highlighting that tourism as an industry benefits a lot. At the time when the founders were starting up, Rahul and his co-founders noticed that there was immense growth in the markets that Treebo planned to operate in. Within tourism, which was then a $40 billion market, railways were never an option. 

The budget segment, however, accounted for 0.84 mil out of the total of 1.2 mil rooms which was in his opinion a very large market. The point that sealed the deal for him, however, was that this industry was independent of consumer behavior, in his words, "People always stayed in hotels." 

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